Israel was ranked #25 in the world's "best countries" list of 2016, as compiled by US News & World Report. The single category in which Israel made the top ten was Power; Israel ranked #8 in that category, and the main reason was its military. The IDF received a score of 9.7 – similar to the US, and second only to Russia's military, which received a perfect 10.
Additional criteria for power included political influence, for which the Jewish state received a score of 7.6, and strong international alliances, for which it got a 5.8. It fared less well in the field of economic influence (2.4) and leadership (2.7).
According to the report, Israel is very highly developed in terms of life expectancy, education, per capita income and other human development index indicators, but it also has "one of the most unequal economies in the Western world, with significant gaps between the rich and poor."
The top five "best countries" overall were Germany, Canada, Britain, the US and Sweden.
Israel also did well in the Movers category, where it came in 14th place, receiving good scores for being Distinctive, Different and Unique.
Surprisingly, it did less well in Entrepreneurship, where it came in at #21. This rank does not jibe with Israel's reputation as a "start-up nation."
The study and model used to score and rank countries was developed by WPP’s brand strategy firm BAV Consulting and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in consultation with U.S. News & World Report.
A set of 65 country attributes – terms that can be used to describe a country and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation – were identified, and presented in a survey of more than 16,000 people from across the globe.
The more a country was perceived to exemplify a certain characteristic in relation to the average, the higher that country’s attribute score.
Attributes were grouped into nine sub-rankings: Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power and Quality of Life.